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Victorian Legal Awards honour 'Leaders in Law'

Victorian Legal Awards honour 'Leaders in Law'

By LIV Media


The 14th Victorian Legal Awards proudly sponsored by PEXA honoured the outstanding achievements of the legal profession in Victoria this year. The Awards were held on Friday 18 May.

Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) president Belinda Wilson said the awards were an opportunity to acknowledge the excellent work by so many lawyers in their roles as counsellors, advisors and advocates in the community.

There were many qualities that made up "Leaders in Law", she said, including providing professional excellence and service delivery, a commitment to advocacy and dedication to the rule of law.

"The legal profession has many members who make a notable and lasting contribution to the Victorian community by advocating for their clients and ensuring that justice is served," she said.

The Access to Justice Award was won by Emma Dunlevie and the AED Legal Centre, recognising their work to protect the legal rights of people with disabilities and promote their inclusion in employment, education and training.

The winner of the Rising Star Award, sponsored by Lex Medicus, which recognises the achievements of early career lawyers was Demetrio Zema. Mr Zema is the founder and leader of LawSquared, a law firm that eschews the traditional 'billable hour' method of charging for legal work for a modern outcome-based charging model suited to start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers won the Large Law Firm of the Year Award. MST Lawyers won the Medium Law Firm of the Year Award, sponsored by LodgeX, and Glen Waverley firm Sharrock Pitman Legal won the Boutique Legal Firm of the Year Award.

Madgwicks Lawyers won Deal of the Year for its handling of the $686 million merger of Emeco, Orionstone and Andy's Earthmovers.

The Legal Reporting Award was won by Chris Merritt, Legal Affairs Editor at The Australian.

The Mentor of the Year Award was won by Liberty Sanger, Principal and Director of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and Chair of the Equal Workplaces Advisory Council. 

The Innovation Award was won by Settify, a family law firm that uses artificial intelligence to support traditional legal practices.

The LIV would like to thank the major sponsor of this event, PEXA.

Full list of Award Winners

Access to Justice Award Emma Dunlevie and the AED Legal Centre 

Accredited Specialist Achievement Award Kristina Antoniades, KHQ Lawyers

Community Lawyer/Organisation of the Year Award Karen (Kaz) Gurney, Goulburn Valley CLC (A program of ARC Justice)

Deal of the Year Award Madgwicks Lawyers - Emeco, Orionstone and Andy's Earthmovers merge in $686 million deal

Government Lawyer of the Year Award Phoebe Nicholas, Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman

In-House Counsel of the Year Katerina Paras, illion

Innovation Award sponsored by PEXA Settify

Law Firm of the Year Award - Boutique Sharrock Pitman Legal

Law Firm of the Year Award - Medium sponsored by LodgeX MST Lawyers

Law Firm of the Year Award - Large Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Law Student of the Year Award Erin Ritchie, Deakin Law School

Legal Reporting Award Chris Merritt, The Australian

Mentor of the Year Award Liberty Sanger, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Regional Lawyer of the Year Award Tom Burgoyne, Slater and Gordon

Suburban Lawyer of the Year Award Timothy Robinson, Robinson Gill Lawyers

Rising Star of the Year Award sponsored by Lex Medicus Demetrio Zema, Law Squared

Paul Baker Prize for Administrative Law & Human Rights Chelsea Clark, Victorian Legal Aid

Rogers Legal Writing Award Katie Minogue, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, for "Into the future: the ultimate joy ride"

Certificates of Service

Thomas Hobbs

Stephen Shipp

Christopher Dale

Giovanni Scomparin



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